Canadian PM Justin Trudeau plans to unveil a “Digital Charter” to aid in regulating tech giants.
According to a new report from Global News, Ottawa is set to unveil a new framework for regulating tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. This “Digital Charter” will outline the government’s expectations leading into the future on issues such as data ownership, privacy protections, and the online dissemination of hate. Trudeau said the government is considering “meaningful” financial penalties for companies that break the rules.
He likened the current digital landscape to the “Wild West” and said that the live streamed murder of 51 citizens in two mosques in New Zealand on March 15 was the “final straw.” “Thoughts and prayers” in response to a tragedy must be complemented by more concrete action, he told a technology conference in Paris on Thursday, a day after dozens of countries and some of the world’s largest tech companies signed on to the “Christchurch Call,” a pledge to curb violent extremism online.
“I believe that when 51 people are murdered, and the whole world can watch it happen in real time, that’s exactly the time to talk policy,” he said.
Trudeau also spoke about the need to fight misinformation in the lead up the federal elections this year.
“Canadians, and only Canadians, will choose their next government. We’ll make sure of that,” said the Prime Minister, pointing to the federal task force set up in February to mitigate foreign interference in the elections. In his speech, the prime minister pointed the blame squarely at digital content providers for poorly policing online disinformation.
“The platforms are failing their users. And they’re failing our citizens. They have to step up in a major way to counter disinformation. And if they don’t, we will hold them to account, and there will be meaningful financial consequences.”
At the end of the summit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other technology giants pledged to step up their efforts to prevent their platforms from being used to spread hatred, help extremist groups organize and broadcast attacks.
“The terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand in March were a terrible tragedy. So it is right that we are united in our commitment to ensuring that we do our best to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence,” said the joint statement of the companies.
“Terrorism and violent extremism are complex social issues that require a comprehensive response to society. For our part, the commitments we are taking today will further strengthen the partnership that governments, the public, and the technology industry need to address to address this threat. “